How Can Researchers Use Social Media to Share Ideas
You could be a PhD researcher; however, this does not imply that you have to remain constrained to only bookish knowledge. Other than academic journals, thick volumes and scholarly material, today’s researcher also has to be savvy with a range of internet operations, especially the social media.
As a researcher working in a particular area, it is important for you to touch base with other researchers and people with interest in your area. Do remember that social media is not merely a means to keep in touch with your friends or build networks. It can be an extremely powerful tool which you should be able to harness and get help in your dissertation.
It would be a good idea to let your social media networks know about the area of research you are engaged in. This will enable similarly interested people to get in touch with you, share their ideas, make suggests, direct you to new and useful sources etc. Moreover, you can also share material related to your work. This will also make people aware of the work you are involved in, and give an opportunity for similarly interested people to get in touch with you.
If you scour social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, you might be surprised to know that there are people who have set up pages based on your area of interest. For instance, if your area of interest is modern European history, you are likely to find dozens of pages on Facebook dedicated to sharing content on modern European history and on specific periods of incidents of European history. By following such pages, you may get wind of interesting content for your research. You could also post your inputs, thus creating potential networks of users who have the same research area interest.
If you are not familiar with Twitter yet, then you are missing out on an extremely useful resource. Twitter uses, through their Twitter handles, tweet on scores of areas- your area of research interest, could be one of them. In any case, you might get connected with individuals who can help your research. Whether it is that influential professor whose book you are reading, or the writer who has created ripples in your research area with their latest work- some of them will usually have their presence on Twitter. You could get in touch with them for your research, and usually, they will be more than happy to help.
Even social media has its rules and etiquette, so do be mindful of your Ps and Qs! Address people with respect and courtesy, as you would do normally. Do not stalk or harangue people and if people are unwilling to help, do not take it offensively.
Another useful resource for you to check out is blogs- people blog on an exceedingly wide range of topics and subjects. Some of these blogs are rather well-written and are even authoritative and reliable accounts. Like all other material, exercise discretion on the kind of internet material you want to source for your research.